Motivational Interviewing with Adolescents

Presented and developed by Randi Jensen, MA, LMHC, CCDC

Developed by Stephen Rollnick and William Miller as a client-centered directive counseling method used in treatment of individuals with substance use disorders, Motivational Interviewing (MI) has been expanded successfully to be effective for many health care settings and many different cultures and developmental stages.

MI is a collaborative conversation, a way of being with people that strengthens their own motivation and commitment for change.  It focuses on exploring and resolving ambivalence, not imposing change but rather supporting change in a manner congruent with the person's own values and goals.

For some client's resistant behavior may simply be a means for expressing their ambivalence about change.  Exploring this ambivalence with a non-confrontive and accepting approach helps an individual to understand and resolve the inner conflict related to change.

A teenager's developmental job is to separate from their parents and create their own independent selves.  It can be a painful and seemingly resistant process, one fraught with impulsivity as well as peer pressure for risk-taking.  Youth have an increased need for autonomy, privacy, and investment in peer relationships.  They endure vast physiological, neurological and psychological changes none of which they usually understand.  It is incumbent on mental health care providers to appreciate the demand of teen years along with the common problems involved with navigating these sometimes very tumultuous times.

Learning opportunities in this workshop include lecture, interactive discussions, video coding, triad role play, and deepening of skill-building through strategic group exercises.  This edition of MI with adolescents delves into the neurobiological and developmental stages that underpin strategy with adolescents.  These methods combine to provide techniques and interventions which can be applied immediately.  No prior experience in MI is required.

Participants in this course will:

  • Learn to engage and elicit a teenager's own core values, desires, abilities, and reasons for making changes
  • Learn applicable neurological, physiological and psychological mechanisms at work during the adolescent years
  • Discern typical challenges to growth, maturity, relationships within the developmental stage of teen years
  • Develop techniques to elicit the teen's own reasons, objectives, and plans for change.


Continuing Education (CE) Information

6 CEs

Cascadia Training is a NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider (Provider #: 6575.)  and by the Washington State Office of Public Instruction as a "Washington State Approved Clock Hour Offering Workshop."

Randi Jensen, MA, LMHC, CCDC

Randi Jensen, MA, LMHC, CCDC received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington and began her career in social service as a Resource and Education Counselor working with the seriously mental ill.

Randi obtained a Washington State Certification in Chemical Dependency Counseling and Chemical Dependency Professional Certification.  She then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Counseling from Antioch University, Seattle.  

In 2010 through 2013, Randi was the Director of The Soldiers Project Washington, a non-profit organization providing no cost, no report mental health counseling to current and former military members, their families and concerned others.  

In addition to specializing in treatment of suicidality, Randi provides counseling to those dealing with substance abuse, gambling and military trauma.

Randi also provides trainings for Washington State Behavioral Health Conference, Evergreen Council on Program Gambling, Delaware Council on Gambling Problems, various employment assistance programs, and individual health agencies.  Randi also specializes in developing Suicide Prevention Programs for Native American communities as well as various youth mental health programs.

Ms Jensen is the author of Just Because You're Suicidal Doesn't Mean You're Crazy: The Psychobiology of Suicide, a book about overcoming chronic suicidality through peer support.  She is currently writing her second book called, How to Talk to Kids about Suicide: A book for all ages" as well as collecting stories of triumph for her book, "Just Because I Tried to Kill Myself Doesn't Mean I want to Die: Lessons Learned in Recovery from Suicidality. 

Upcoming Dates and Registration

No dates have been scheduled for this course. Please check back soon.

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